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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Pioneers rally past Heber Springs

  • Heber Springs had Batesville on the ropes, leading 5-3 entering the seventh inning on Monday at Panther Field. Once down 5-0, the Pioneers battled back, taking the lead on a 2 RBI single by Blake Van Winkle. Batesville added two more for a total of five runs in the seventh and the Panthers left the bases loaded in the bottom half, dropping it fourth straight, this time 8-6.

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  • Heber Springs had Batesville on the ropes, leading 5-3 entering the seventh inning on Monday at Panther Field. Once down 5-0, the Pioneers battled back, taking the lead on a 2 RBI single by Blake Van Winkle. Batesville added two more for a total of five runs in the seventh and the Panthers left the bases loaded in the bottom half, dropping it fourth straight, this time 8-6.
    The Pioneers improved to 11-4 while Heber fell to 4-8 (2-4 in conference) entering Thursday’s 2-4A conference game at Southside Batesville.
    Heber exploded with five runs in the third inning as Geoffrey Anderson walked and scored, Judson Smith beat out a bunt single and scored then Brooks Morgan singled to left field and came across, giving the Panthers a 3-0 advantage.
    After Michael Ludwig reached on an infield single and Paden Flippin reached on an error, Michael Kramer drove them home with a 2 RBI single, pushing the Panthers’ lead to 5-0 before Pioneer relief pitcher Kenton Crawford put out the fire.
    Heber starting pitcher Jackson Thomas worked out of trouble while pitching three scoreless innings before giving way to Smith in the fourth.
    Batesville chipped away at its deficit, scoring one run in the fourth off Smith, one in the fifth off Ludwig and one in the sixth against Morgan. After trimming its deficit to 5-3 on an RBI single from Cody Vaughn, which scored Wesley Rudd, Heber catcher Harley Hooten slowed the Pioneers’ rally by gunning down Vaughn trying to steal second.
    Morgan retired Crawford on a foul pop-up to Kramer at first base, leaving Joe Mourer, who reached on a walk along with Rudd, stranded 90 feet from home.
    In the bottom of the sixth, Crawford pitched around a two-out walk to Anderson and the Pioneers rallied with five runs in the seventh, starting when Tanner Ring was hit-by-a-pitch. Facing Flippin, Heber’s fifth pitcher, Ryan Coles worked a full-count walk.
    With the count at 0-2, Cockrill plugged the left center gap for an RBI double that scored Ring and Van Winkle chopped another 0-2 delivery through the hole on right side, scoring Coles and Cockrill as Batesville suddenly took a 6-5 lead.
    Rudd beat out a bunt single that plated Van Winkle after a collision at first base knocked the ball free. Flippin retired the next two batters but Rudd came around to score on a wild pitch, boosting the Pioneers’ lead to 8-5 going into the bottom of the seventh.
    Suddenly down by three, the Panthers continued to scrap as Morgan lined a single to right field and Ludwig reached on an error, which allowed Morgan to advance to third base.
    With runners at the corners, Flippin drove home Morgan with an RBI groundout to third base. Then, Kramer walked and Batesville elected to relieve Crawford with Landon Gilmore.
    Page 2 of 2 - Heber loaded the bases when Hooten poked a single over second base and into right field but Gilmore fired back with two straight strikeouts as the Pioneers pulled out an 8-6 win.

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